Are German Shepherds Easy to Train?

Owning a German Shepherd is a big responsibility, especially when it comes to training. Training these dogs is essential not only to have an obedient and respectful animal that learns new skills but also to prevent it from developing bad habits and behaviours.

One of the main concerns of any person when purchasing any dog is whether the breed they have chosen is easy to train.

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Certain canines are easier to train than others, and that depends a lot on their intelligence and personality. For example, intelligent dogs can be difficult to train due to their stubbornness.

Fortunately, German Shepherds are easy dogs to train. They rank 3rd among the smartest dogs for obedience and working intelligence. They are canines capable of quickly learning and retaining lessons and whatever else you try to teach them.

Why Are German Shepherds Easy to Train?

There is no single reason why these dogs are smart. While every German Shepherd is different, most are easy to train. If this is not the case, it may be due to some particular factor or situation.

A German Shepherd is easy to train for the following two reasons:

They Were Raised to Carry Out Different Tasks

The German Shepherds are characterized by having a high level of energy which they have been acquiring throughout history since they were used to carry out different activities and jobs.

German Shepherds originated in Germany in the late 19th century. They were used as herding dogs as they were excellent at guarding livestock. In addition, many people trained them to be excellent guard dogs. That way, they could protect not only the territory but their family.

All this has made German Shepherds not only love to perform different types of tasks but also have the facility to learn new things, including commands, skills, etc.

That ease of learning is something they developed naturally from being exposed to a wide variety of jobs and activities in the past. Today, German Shepherds are used as police, herding, drug, or even fire dogs.

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They Are Smart Dogs

As we have already said, the German Shepherd is in the top 3 of the most intelligent dogs, according to Stanley Coren. Unlike many other dog breeds, German Shepherds can understand commands quickly and learn new skills easily.

It is proven that this breed of dog needs less than five repetitions to learn a new command, which is something totally incredible, unlike other animals. In addition, they are capable of obeying an order quickly with a success rate of over 95%.

What Should You Take into Account When Training a German Shepherd?

Just because a German Shepherd is easy to train doesn’t mean you should ignore certain important aspects. If you want to educate and train your dog properly, you should take into account the following recommendations:

Be the Alpha of the Pack

The German Shepherd is characterized by having a dominant personality. That means it might want to set the rules and be the pack leader. Obviously, you have to prevent your pet from exhibiting that type of behaviour.

Ensure you make it understand that you are the alpha and that you will set the rules. You have to do that carefully without using verbal or physical aggression. The idea is to create a strong bond with your dog so that it fully trusts you and sees you as the leader.

Use Positive Reinforcement

The positive reinforcement method is one of the pillars of any training. Rewarding a German Shepherd with treats each time it obeys your commands will let it know that it has done the right thing. That way, it will want to do it again since it understands what you want it to do.

Obviously, it will do this in order to receive the reward. You want to make sure you don’t constantly give treats, especially if they aren’t part of a reward for completing a task.

Teach It the Basic Commands

Teaching a German Shepherd basic commands is a good way to help it get used to training. Remember that German Shepherds are brilliant dogs that have the ability to learn new commands quickly, unlike other breeds.

The most important commands to teach your German Shepherd puppy from the start are:

  • “Sit”
  • “Stay”
  • “Say Hello”

Ignore the Dog’s Bad Habits and Behaviours

Puppies can develop bad behaviours like chewing on furniture, digging in the garden, biting, jumping on people, barking, etc. Correcting these inappropriate habits is part of the education and training of your German Shepherd.

In these cases, the best thing you can do is to ignore any type of unwanted behaviour and reward the canine when it behaves appropriately.

You can also prevent your dog from biting by spraying a bitter substance on the objects that it tends to bite. Your German Shepherd will feel an unpleasant taste and avoid biting that item again in the future.

In case your pet bites your hand, you can make a high-pitched sound every time it bites you. That will make it think that it has hurt you, and it will not want to do it again since it loves you.

Get Your Pet Used to Be in a Crate

This is not required as many German Shepherd owners prefer not to use crates. However, that can be important in certain situations, such as potty training.

If you want to get your German Shepherd used to being in a crate, the first thing to consider is size. Buy a crate big enough for your German Shepherd to fit in even when it is an adult. 

You should make sure to condition the crate with your dog’s favorite toys, food, water, and a blanket. Treats are also a good option to make it feel better.

Be Patient and Consistent

While German Shepherds are easy to train, it could take more or less time depending on the type of training and your particular dog.

Not all German Shepherds are the same, so some may take longer to learn. You must be patient during the process and never give up in the worst case.

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